Special 70th Anniversary American Edition
A new translation by writer and poet Peter Hargitai
"Writer and poet Peter Hargitai, working on an English translation of Utas és holdvilág [Traveler and the Moonlight] in 1988, met with Szerb's widow, Klára, curious to know whether there had been real-life models for the novel's characters-particularly for Tamás and Éva, who intrigued him above all the others. In answer, Klára Szerb pointed out a framed photograph on a bookshelf: 'a youngish man with a pale, aristocratic, melancholy face.'
'This is Tamás,' Mrs. Szerb said. 'My husband's beloved schoolmate.'
'And Éva? Who is Éva?' I asked.
She held up that very picture. 'This is also Éva. Tamás and Éva are one and the same.'
Klára Szerb went on to insist that Hargitai keep the secret of Tamás and Éva's single biographical precedent until after her death. And there we have a clue, not only to the mysterious androgyny of Tamás and Éva, and to the sexually unconventional nature of Mihály's relationship with them, but also perhaps to an unresolved chapter from Szerb's past, one that held mysteries potent enough to give rise to a novel."
Author of The Invisible Bridge
"I hope The Traveler reaches thousands and thousands of readers."
Distinguished Nobel Laureate
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